Golden Horde

The Golden Horde was the name of the state founded by Batu Khan following the Mongol invasion of Rus. The capital of the Golden Horde was the town of Sarai on the River Volga, not far from the modern-day city of Volgograd. The capital was later transferred further up the River Volga, to a place known as New Sarai. The Golden Horde controlled much of Central Asia, Kazakhstan, the Crimea, the rivers Volga and Dnieper and north-east Rus. Although the Tatar-Mongol hordes did not reach Novgorod, the city was still obliged to pay tribute.

The Golden Horde began to weaken in the fourteenth century. In the second half of the century, there were twenty-five khans in the space of twenty-three years. Many were murdered by rivals. In the 1370s, the Golden Horde was headed by a military commander called Mamai, until his defeat at the Battle of Kulikovo. Mamai fled to the Crimea, where he was captured and killed. As the Tatar-Mongol yoke weakened, Moscow grew in strength. Although the raids on the Russian lands continued, the days of the Golden Horde were numbered.

In the fifteenth century, the Golden Horde split up into different parts. Several sections broke away to form the independent khanates of Kazan, Astrakhan, Crimea, Siberia and the Grand Horde. Under Ivan III, Rus stopped paying tribute to the Tatar-Mongols. Ahmed Khan bin Küchük of the Grand Horde attempt to reconquer Rus, but was defeated at the Battle of the River Ugra.

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